Shares of medical laser company Biolase Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: BLTI) tumbled on Wednesday after the company made a preliminary announcement of a first quarter loss.

The Irvine, Calif.-based company said it expects its fiscal first quarter, which ended March 31, to generate a net loss on revenue of $14.5 million to $15 million.

Biolase did not state what its expected loss would be.

Analysts polled by Thomson Financial were expecting a per-share profit of a penny.

Biolase remained optimistic on its full-year results however, noting strong sales of its dental laser products.

We believe that this first quarter just ended will be our lowest revenue quarter in 2007 and that we have not lost market share to our competitors, as we remain by a wide margin the market leader, said Jeffrey Jones, President and CEO of Biolase.

The company said sales representatives had to take time from selling in their territories in order to build relationships with and help educate representatives of healthcare product distributor Henry Schein (Nasdaq: HSIC).

The Company will provide additional details in a quarterly conference call following its first quarter 2007 operating results report in early May.

Shares of the firm plunged $2.12, or 21 percent to $7.98 in afternoon trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market.